A sheriff’s deputy from San Bernardino County, California, alleges he was subject to wrongful termination from his job because he took time off to care for his sick mother. The man says he was the victim of retaliation from his supervisors, who punished him for taking justified time off under the Family Medical Leave Act. The man’s mother suffered from arthritis, mental disorders, seizures and strokes during the period before he was dismissed.
Official reports show that a tentative settlement has been reached in the case, with both the county and the plaintiff approving the financial claim. The settlement must still be approved by the county’s Board of Supervisors, but it appears the man is on his way to receiving compensation for the wrongs he suffered. Still, the tentative settlement could fall through, leaving the claim to civil court if something goes wrong.
Court documents show the man filed his suit in February in federal court, suing the county and several members of the sheriff’s department. The man had worked for the sheriff’s department for eight years before he was fired in 2011. His mother began experiencing illness as early as 2009. Coworkers at the department took it upon themselves to investigate whether the man’s FMLA claims were legitimate, allegedly placing phone calls to the man’s mother’s physician. They also tracked the woman’s physical therapy appointments. In addition, at least one of the supervisors switched the plaintiff’s work shift without notifying him, a move that cost the man more than a day’s worth of pay. He insists he was fired after failing a six-week performance plan, but the failing scores were caused by sabotage.
You have rights under federal law to take time off from work for ailing family members. If you have been denied those rights or received retaliation for exercising them, you could be entitled to a significant civil claim. To find out more about your legal options, consider consulting a qualified employment attorney. These professionals can represent you, allowing you to receive the compensation you need and deserve.
www.sbsun.com, “Fired San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy alleging wrongful termination” Joe Nelson, Jul. 31, 2013